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Types With Fingers's Gospel Commentary

Discussion in 'Spiritual Growth & Development' started by Types With Fingers, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Hi guys, for those of you who don't know, I've been wrestling with an intense spiritual crisis for the past few months, where I dearly want to believe in something, but I simply don't know what's true. For me, I WANT to believe in hypersalvation, where this all-loving god doesn't care what religion you are, where our purpose is to love and learn, and hell is a temporary state, but I need to KNOW it's true.

    To me it made sense a while back to read the Bible from the beginning. Well, that went over as well as dropping bricks on a cup of yogurt. I was not aware of how much violence there is in the Old Testament, how quick the OT God was to punish for minor infractions, and how many times He ordered what today would be considered crimes against humanity. I was shocked, to say the least. The worst part is, I don't know how to disprove that this isn't the real God, because I don't know who IS the real God.

    One of our members recommended I read only the Gospels, being that the teachings of Jesus were supposed to match what we learned from NDEs and mediums. This has been hard for me, because the pain from reading the OT was so tremendous that I was afraid to read anything else. Then, I thought, maybe if I put on here my thoughts of what I was reading for discussion, it would make it easier for me to read it. So please, be civil.

    Anyway, the first thing that caught my eye was, the beginning of Matthew, it starts with a genealogy of Jesus, but beginning with Abraham, and not Adam. Why is that?

    I also noted the importance that's placed on dreams. Joseph ws told in a dream to do things, and he did them. It's interesting, because we talk a lot about the importance of dreams, loved ones sending us messages and all. I've been asking Jesus day and night to show me he's real, and nothings happened, maybe I ought to try asking for him to appear in my dreams?

    By the way, how is naming the baby Jesus fulfilling the prophecy of naming the Messiah Emmanuel? Is Jesus the Greek equivalent of Emmanuel?
     
  2. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Dear friend, I have read the OT at least a dozen times. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the genuine God. Jesus Himself said that the Gospels replace the entire OT, so you can throw that away! And the NT after the Gospels is the work of a first-century man creating a first-century religion... which, appallingly, still is practiced today. But JESUS brought us the genuine word of God, and as God is eternal, so also the Gospels are eternal. I am so sorry that you are having this crisis, dear wonderful friend, but Jesus can fix it for you. Read ONLY the red letters in the Gospels! Nothing else in the Bible has anything to do with the genuine God.
     
  3. But if that's the case, why bother reading Jesus's teachings at all? How do we know Jesus brought us the word of God if it can't be reconciled with the Old Testament? As you say, Jesus said he came to fulfill the OT, but he also said not one letter of the law would pass until he came. Doesnt that mean we still have to look at the OT?
     
  4. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Have you considered looking into faiths other than Christianity? There are many, many other possibilities.
     
  5. Hi bluebird, I've thought about it, and that presents another problem. There are so many faiths! Why? Why would a god allow so much confusion?

    The truth is, I'm looking into Christianity because of its prevalence here in the US. There are some very loud voices here, and what I'm looking for is one that's louder than them all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  6. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    I am not prepared to go into it now, but I am writing a book which will be out in the fall and explains all of this. We can independently verify that the ONLY part of the Bible that is real and from God is the Gospels. For now, I hope that you will take my word for it; I'll send you a copy of my book when it's published!
     
  7. Wow,, thank you, Roberta, I'm grateful and excited. I guess I'll hold off on my questions until the book comes out!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  8. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Well I'm the wrong one to ask about why god would allow so much confusion -- for the most part I'm essentially an atheist, and if there is a god I despise it. If there is a god, I think it has done a poor job of setting things up, and the confusion you mention would be just one more sign of that.

    However, there is also the human component. If there is a god, each human is likely to look at it in a different way, and while like-minded people may group together (into various religions, denominations, etc.), they are also likely to get a lot of it wrong, as well as likely to be led astray by the various religious figures of their day (who, too often, have their own political and other agendas).

    I'm not sure I understand why you are looking into Christianity just because its proponents may be the loudest here in the U.S. -- why is that a selling point for you, so to speak? I'm not saying that Christianity doesn't have value, or that the bible doesn't have value, but they are by far the only faith and sacred text that do. If you find that Christianity appeals to you, that the ideas and ideals it espouses seem right to you, then by all means pursue it -- but that is the only reason why you should pursue it (or any other faith), in my opinion. Maybe if you looked into a number of different faiths that would help you to find one that you feel is right for you, or at least provide some clarification for you. I wish you luck in your search, in any case.
     
  9. I totally understand, and thank you, let me clarify: There is no selling point. The reason I'm looking into Christianity first is because some people in some states are passing or trying to pass bills into law that are based on the Bible, others are trying to strike down laws that contradict the Bible, and some want schools to be more Bible-based. This poses two questions: 1) why, deep down, do I disagree with these movements, and 2) is something false simply because I disagree with it?

    The answer to the first question is, I'm jealous of their certainty and resentful of my own ignorance. I don't want to live a lie, because living a lie means wasting your life, and I don't want that. I also don't know enough of the Bible to refute the orthodox and conservatives, and meanwhile I don't have the personal experience to confirm it, nor any other sacred text. But people are using the Bible to try to control America, and so I need to take a stand at some point, for one side or another, and that means being informed... which I'm not.

    As far as the second question goes, that's why I'm here. Since Jesus or Buddha or Joseph Smith hasn't popped into my room to help me out, I have no direction to go in, and so to me nothing is false or true, so even if I disagree with something, that opinion is baseless and empty. Nothing is false, even if I don't like it, which is an unsustainable position.
     
  10. Carol and Mikey

    Carol and Mikey Golden Hearts

    Hi Types,

    The one thing Mikey wants you to know is that it is not about religion at the end of the day. It is about love! What we believe and what religion we follow does not have much influence on us from a spiritual standpoint when we return Home. It is how we are as an individual. How we act and treat others. Are we kind? Helpful? Positive in our ways? Sincere and true? Just being nice goes a long way! :) Basically the golden rule to treat others as you would want to be treated is it! Mikey tells me there is nothing wrong with religion IF love is the basis and there is not judgment or ridicule of someone else who does not believe the same thing. We need to be respectful of each other when it comes to faith / religion. Think of what a nice place the world would be if this actually happened?! :)
    Carol and Mikey "in Spirit"
     
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    Don't be jealous of their certainty, my friend - it is a false certainty. At the end of the day, mainstream Christianity can be proven to inaccurate when its tenets are compared to what modern science tells us about this reality and to what the dead tell us about the afterlife. Many Christians could easily become aware of this and adapt their beliefs to be more relevant, but it is precisely because of their certainty in their doctrines and dogmas that they - largely, I have met some very open Christians - refuse to do so. That makes them the ignorant ones! You, on the other hand, are willing to search for the answers.

    If I may, it sounds as though you are more interested in Christianity in order to find a political identity. We generally avoid political discussions here as a rule but, if you want some pointers on the constitutionality of laws based on religion, feel free to send me a private message. I'm very familiar with the arguments and feel confident that I could present both sides neutrally.
     
  12. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    In the meantime, Types, I highly recommend the third appendix from Roberta's The Fun of Dying. It is a short, but brilliant approach to understanding the teachings of Jesus, as He intended them. It's so revolutionary that I've been trying to get it into as many hands as possible lately. You can download it here for free in PDF format.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2015
  13. Hi all, thank you so much for your comments, it feels good to be reassured that whenever I have questions or doubts I can come here to a supportive environment.

    I actually had a dream last night where God appeared as a glowing white ball in the night sky. I said, if you're real, strike me with lightning without actually hurting me. But the ball remained silent. When I woke up, I realized I'm not going to get satisfying answers from any person, because I'm always going to doubt them due to they're being human, and what I really need is a personal, one on one, spiritual experience of my own.

    Basically, the only people who can remove my doubt and fear are Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and the like. So I'm going to keep praying exactly for that, and maybe they'll appear in my dreams, or maybe appear in my car, I don't know. But I thank you all again for your support, truly.
     
  14. dopier

    dopier Member

    While I may have fallen on the opposite spectrum of a conclusion, I still feel this is a very much possibility of a rational conclusion as well. To some it may be as clear as daylight. But to not acknowledge there's much to be confused about may be a bit of a stretch.
    You certainly have a fan in me. Always have been.

    You ever wonder what's at the origin of your wisdom? Your sense of fairness? That balance?
     
  15. dopier

    dopier Member

    Types, this one hits closer to home for me. In my deep praying days I had something akin to that. And yes, the silence was quite disappointing to me. Unfortunately my new perspective and understanding seem to inform me that all the answers won't even come from Jesus, Buddha, etc. So I'd advise you to be on the lookout for that as well. For now, it's possible that there are no completely satisfying answers to be given but plenty of experiences to be gained and enjoy.
     
  16. Thanks dopier. The great news is I'm not looking for all the answers, I'm just looking for three: 1) Is there a god, 2) how can I know it is who it says it is, 3) what must I do to enter paradise when I die and avoid hell?

    I can get opinions from people until I'm blue in the face, but these questions will be ultimately answered by the source, so I might as well reach out to it now. I've read tales about people being visited by God or angels when they asked real hard, so at the end of the day, that's what I'm looking for.
     
  17. Morningfog

    Morningfog New Member

    Coming from an apparently similar fundamentalist Christian background, I had to dig out of a bunch of unnecessary man-made dogma. Having come a long way from that upbringing ... here's my personal answers to your same questions if it helps ...
    1) Probably 2) I probably already know instinctively 3) The only hell that exists to me is the one where I refuse to accept God's love (afterlife not required)

    These are not easy questions Types. And even my answers are certainly not satisfactory ... not even to me. I personally believe these questions will never be completely answered while we are in the physical part of the universe. However, I think it suppose to be that way. We are not suppose to have all the answers to the universe while we are here existing in this impossibly short physical lifespan. We suppose to be challenged. We suppose to be forced to have faith. Perhaps, that is why it is called "school for your soul".

    There is one common message we seem to get consistently however. This message seem to transcend any religion but every religion has this message as the major component. This particular message is the most important information that NDE'rs come back with. However these same NDErs curiously don't usually come back with any other information that may seem very important to us that would help ease suffering in our physical universe such as a cure for cancer, a cure for AIDS, a method to stop war, or any other cure to a problem that would help make our lives easier living in this physical universe. Why is that? Perhaps our physical life is NOT suppose to be easy. How can this message have any real power without the hardships of our physical life? Well, I'm sure you have figured out what the said message is. The message is Love. This is all we truly have to any real truth. It is as fundamental as our own consciousness. We all have felt it. It doesn't require religion. Hell, it doesn't even require a belief in God. I don't think God really cares if we believe him(her) or not. Apparently, God or the universe only cares how we are sharing the love that was ultimately created by him(her). And I think this resonates with every living being in the universe. It is so fundamental and is really the only thing that matters in the end.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  18. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Beautifully said, dear Morningfog. Love is the message of Jesus as well, but those who built a first-century Jewish sect around His precious Gospel teachings kinda let the real meaning and message of Jesus get lost in the false doctrines of Christianity. Saint Paul did us a favor in packaging the Gospels in a religion so they could be preserved for two thousand years. Thank you, Paul! Now it's finally time to open your gift.
     
  19. janef

    janef Moderator




    Morningfog, this last paragraph is my belief as well. Very simple, beautifully said. Thanks!
     
  20. phae

    phae New Member

    Nm, not important.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  21. Hi Morningfog, I tell you, for me the hardest part, absolutely hardest part, is getting over the fear of going to hell. I'm sure you understand, it's a very narrow path of truth winding through the vast, endless mass of control and fear:

    You're not using our translation of the Bible? You're going to hell.
    You read the Bible and don't like it? Going to hell.
    You think our rules are too strict? Hell.
    You want to explore another denomination or religion? Hell.
    You want to talk with mediums? Hell.
    You support NDEs? Hell.

    Basically, any questioning of, or stepping out of line from the established rules and beliefs of any one particular denomination is a one-way ticket to spending eternity in conscious physical and psychological torture without any hope of rescue. That's a mighty big tradeoff, and many faiths believe in it, and for me I can't just go, "Well, I don't like it, therefore it's not real."

    Now, I support NDEs, I think the public should be aware of them, but I need the personal experience to live by their lessons. I need God to essentially come into my house, sit down with me, and let's have it out. I'm not asking for my life to easy, but I'm sure not asking for it to be impossible, and golly, sometimes it really seems like it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  22. But wasn't it some Council in 400 AD that packaged the Gospels and not St. Paul? Oh, let's not forget there are lost gospels, and nobody's sure if those are legitimate or not.
     
  23. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clarifying why you are looking into Christianity first. I will say this -- I disagree with people trying to pass laws that are bible-based, because no religion has any place in government and lawmaking, and I disagree with people wanting schools (aside from those which are specifically religious schools) to be more bible-based, because no religion has any place in education/schooling (again, aside from religious schools like Catholic schools or Yeshivas or the like). So, perhaps you disagree with those things for similar reasons? I understand, in a way, your being jealous of the certainty of people who have faith, but you would be living a lie if you pretended to share their faith (or any faith) when you don't. Not knowing of there's a god or an afterlife is a perfectly viable and acceptable position. It may not be a comfortable one, for some people, but it is as honest a position as any other.
     
  24. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Thanks, dopier. I agree that to not acknowledge that there's much to be confused about, at least for many people, is "a bit of a stretch". I actually feel that it is quite arrogant to assume that you (the universal you, not you dopier) know the nature of god, the nature of the afterlife, etc. I think it's fine to believe whatever you (again, universal you) think/feel is right, but it's also wise to acknowledge that no human is likely to be completely right in her/his beliefs, and that's ok. We each do the best we can.

    I don't think I'm wise, but I do have a sense of fairness. I respect all genuine beliefs, even if I don't agree with them, as long as the person discussing them does not insist that s/he is right (when it comes to god/afterlife topics, that is). Since there is no way for any living person to know for sure the reality or nature of god or the afterlife (though people who have had NDEs and such might have a greater insight than others), I think that's really the only fair way to be.
     
  25. I'd like to add I have no intention of turning this thread political, what I'm trying to say is I'm in this crisis because I want my life to have meaning, but I don't know what's true about God and I don't want to go to hell. That means I have to educate myself, but with who and what and how? So, being raised Christian, and noticing what appears to be a rising movement within my community of people with Christian worldviews, I'm looking first into Christianity.
     
  26. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    It was one of the ecumenical councils that decided which Gospels should be included in the New Testament. I've heard that the decision was made based on which Gospels were more popular, rather than based on the reliability of their content, but I remain unsure of how true that idea is. The official story is that the Gospels which were omitted were found either to be heretical or uninspired in nature. The Gospels however, had already been in existence for some time - although some editing did occur at the hands of the various councils.

    As Roberta said, Paul is responsible for wrapping the words of Jesus in religion. He was one of the principle architects of the religion that was eventually built around Jesus. Keep in mind that the earliest Gospel (that is, the Gospel of Mark) was not written until at least A.D. 65. That gives Paul, a formerly-devout Jew whose famous "Road to Damascus" conversion occurred shortly after the resurrection, some thirty years of to theologize the teachings of Jesus before anyone had even started to write about the man. By the time the Gospels writers started recording the story of Jesus, their brand of Christianity was already heavily influenced by Paul.

    Concerning the gnostic Gospels, the problem is not so much that they may not be legitimate. Rather, it's that they were written upwards of a century after the crucifixion. The early Christian community did consider them illegitimate because they were written by gnostics, who were considered heretics at the time. Modern, non-religious scholars however, are more concerned with the time lapse between the events in question and the writing of the gnostic Gospels, some of which do not appear until the fourth century.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2015
  27. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    Well, my friend, it sounds as though you are surrounded by the absolute worst sort of close-minded Christians - not all branches of Christianity are this strict. But rest assured, you cannot be condemned to a place that only exists in their misguided imaginations! ;)
     
  28. Wow, thank you for informing me, that makes a lot of sense. I've always wondered why nobody wrote about Jesus for thirty years, though. Out of all the people who we following, not one knew how to write? I know many were illiterate, but Matthew was a tax collector, doesn't that mean he could write?

    Could you elaborate on the editing of the gospels in the hands of different councils? That really caught my eye.
     
  29. Oh, I only have a few friends and family like that, I'm really stereotyping and extrapolating, taking YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter comments I've seen and combining them. The point is, there are people who do believe those things, and I can't discount them just because I don't like what they say. I have to become informed, but how can I do that when I can't trust answers from a human? Well, I go to the source, and that's where I'm at now.
     
  30. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Understood. What I'm saying is that religion has (or should have) no place in politics, so I actually agree with you.

    Your life can have meaning whether or not there's a god, and regardless of which religion (if any) you follow. Personally, I don't believe there is any such place as "hell", and if there is then any god that would create it or send/allow its children to go there is a bastard. If there is a god, I don't think it cares which religion, if any, you or any of us believe in. In my opinion, all that matters is doing your best to love others and treat them well, essentially trying to do as much good and as little harm as possible in your life and interactions with others.

    Nothing wrong with educating yourself, though, and if you feel that looking into Christianity first is the way for you to go, then that's what you should do. Bear in mind that there are many denominations of Christianity, so just looking into all of them could take quite some time, before (if) you even begin looking at other faiths. In any case, I hope you find what you're looking for.
     

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